If the kids are not in a church youth group as they get to be teenagers, will they drop out of church because it is too dull and doesn’t connect with their youth subculture?

Seems like this issue about kids turns me into a broken record, talking about communicating spiritual priorities to our kids in a very personal way and generally using common sense principles.

When the teens grow up with a sense of awe and exuberance about God, a sense of God’s presence in every day life within the family, then God is their culture. Whether we meet as a house church or as a big box church, we have to be sensitive to the needs and interests of all, teens included. If our house church ignores their interests, their problems, their needs, they will naturally suffer and lose interest.

I’ve read about studies showing the importance of role models outside the family and in the older generation. This speaks to the importance of living in community, how it “takes a village” to raise healthy, well-balanced kids. We have a cultural tendency to rely on youthful, edgy youth leaders to connect our children with God thinking the old gray heads can’t understand or relate to “today’s teenager.” That may be true for some immature, worldly, self-centered old people, but those who have matured “in Christ” and benefited from the wisdom of God’s word, they will quite naturally connect and relate to teens. My experience with the God-centered, mature, gray heads is that they are better listeners and more lucid in their responses when conversing with teens than us middle-aged parents. Well I digress somewhat.

Using our common sense, which teen is better off in the long run? One that has been catered to with a professionally tuned youth program and largely isolated from the grown-ups? Or a teen that’s been surrounded in church meetings by kids and adults up and down the age scale, hearing about their struggles and their joys? What happens to our teen-become-adult when he graduates into the reality of “it’s not about you,” service-oriented, others-oriented, school of hard-knocks world and church?